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HIV Activist Learning Modules: Engaging Our Community in HIV Prevention Policy Advocacy

March 30, 2017

Since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, community-led advocacy has been an essential component of local, national, and international responses to the crisis. Without the direct involvement of those most affected by the virus, we may never have seen a robust response to this deadly and highly stigmatized disease. In the United States, it is because of community advocacy that the government stopped neglecting affected communities and dramatically scaled up funding to develop and provide effective care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In recent years, growing numbers of activists have begun focusing on the pressing HIV prevention needs of communities with high rates of infection. Galvanized by the advent of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention (TasP), activists and community leaders have grown impatient with lackluster HIV prevention responses that do little to curb incredibly high rates of new infections, particularly among gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals of color, and do not fully make use of the most recent prevention technologies. For many advocates, the development of highly effective options for stopping HIV transmission mean that the status quo is no longer acceptable -- we should be talking about how to end the epidemic by demanding unfettered access to a comprehensive HIV prevention toolbox that provides both HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals everything they need to avoid transmitting or acquiring the virus.

While many of us who come from communities highly impacted by HIV have the lived experiences and the passion required for HIV prevention advocacy, developing an advocacy agenda and getting up to speed on the current state of HIV prevention science is not always easy. In order to support the efforts of prevention advocates across the United States, Treatment Action Group has developed a series of modules to help support activists' capacity needs and to develop advocacy action plans. The slides, handouts, and webinars in each module focus on how to identify and change the governmental, organizational, and institutional policies that create roadblocks to comprehensive HIV prevention in our communities. The materials are useful for personal education or group discussion on HIV prevention and policy advocacy.

For more information on each module, just click on these links. If you have any questions regarding the materials, please email Jeremiah Johnson.


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This article was provided by Treatment Action Group.
 

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